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Gender Envy versus Appreciating an Aesthetic


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Rainy Robin

I've been struggling to try and figure out my preferred gender expression lately, and I keep getting stuck because I can't tell if I feel gender envy or if its just appreciation of a clothing aesthetic because I think it looks good on other people. To clarify, if I see someone in a specific outfit with a specific presentation, I've had a hard time figuring out if I want to look like them, or if I just think that their outfit and presentation looks good in a purely aesthetic way that may not translate into me wanting that presentation for myself. 

 

How have you all distinguished this for yourselves? I'd love to hear some stories or get some advice from anyone who feels comfortable sharing!

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Snao Cone

If I had a body that worked with the aesthetic I like I would probably have more useful input here. I've been curvy my whole life (well, I think it only qualifies as "fat" before puberty when the t&a sprung out in a more shapely fashion) but I have always envied more angular aesthetics. I got a binder over a year ago that has helped me experiment, but it only flattens things by about 50% so I still look too curvy to pull off some of the things that appeal to me more. 

 

I think if you feel like you're missing out by not being able to pull the look off, that's distinct from just admiring it in an aesthetic or artistic sense. 

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For me it's I think just plain old physical dysphoria. Clothing style not so much, because what I prefer to wear works more or less for any gender. What really bothers me a lot is body hair. And aesthetics is really not strong enough to describe that - it truly bothers me a lot. Which also means getting rid of it goes a long way. Other things are not that easy to fix, plus the social aspects add another level of complication which I'm not willing (or don't have the guts maybe) to face, at least at this point.

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Rainy Robin
1 hour ago, Snao Cone said:

I think if you feel like you're missing out by not being able to pull the look off, that's distinct from just admiring it in an aesthetic or artistic sense. 

Wow, this helps a lot. Thank you!

1 hour ago, timewarp said:

For me it's I think just plain old physical dysphoria. Clothing style not so much, because what I prefer to wear works more or less for any gender.

Oh, this makes sense as well. In other words, it's more about aligning your body's physical characteristics with your internal sense of self, rather than specifically focusing on certain types of clothes to achieve the look you're going for? Thanks for your input!

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Kieran the Vampire

For me gender envy is very negative. It makes me feel upset at how they look rather than appreciative. Seeing a flat chested man wearing a vest makes me angry because I'm not that and when I look in the mirror that's not what I'll see...

 

Aesthetic attraction is more positive of "WOW! How are they so beautiful?" It's just more positive emotions.

 

Edit: Like if someone's wearing a cool outfit I usually just am like neat, but if they're male there's also this darker emotion that goes, "Clothes will never fit you that way." And then I feel bad and angry.

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Rainy Robin
4 minutes ago, Kieran the Vampire said:

Like if someone's wearing a cool outfit I usually just am like neat, but if they're male there's also this darker emotion that goes, "Clothes will never fit you that way." And then I feel bad and angry.

This is really helpful, thank you 💜

So does gender envy cause dysphoria to flare up as well, or is it mainly feelings of frustration that you may not be able to achieve the look you're trying to achieve?

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Kieran the Vampire
2 minutes ago, Rainy Robin said:

This is really helpful, thank you 💜

So does gender envy cause dysphoria to flare up as well, or is it mainly feelings of frustration that you may not be able to achieve the look you're trying to achieve?

It depends on whether or not I was already feeling dysphoric. If I'm already feeling even the faintest bit dysphoric it's like getting hit with a truck. If not it has a brief moment where I feel dysphoric then it goes away.

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trifasciata

I know I'm not the OP, but this is something I've been wondering about, thank you Kieran.

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19 hours ago, Rainy Robin said:

Oh, this makes sense as well. In other words, it's more about aligning your body's physical characteristics with your internal sense of self, rather than specifically focusing on certain types of clothes to achieve the look you're going for? Thanks for your input!

That's pretty much spot on, yes.

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I don't think I experience any dysphoria, but I do experience both gender envy and aesthetic appreciation. I see someone who looks certain ways and wish I could look like that and pull off the sorts of fashions they pull off. I envy their look and also appreciate it. If that makes sense.

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fooledbysecrecy

ahh! gender envy is probably the word i've haven't been able to put my finger on for the past 15 years or so, always thought the kind of clothes i like looked better on men, no unnecessary lumps and curves. but there's also the dysphoria..

 

and this:

21 hours ago, Kieran the Vampire said:

For me gender envy is very negative. It makes me feel upset at how they look rather than appreciative. Seeing a flat chested man wearing a vest makes me angry because I'm not that and when I look in the mirror that's not what I'll see...

 

Aesthetic attraction is more positive of "WOW! How are they so beautiful?" It's just more positive emotions.

 

Edit: Like if someone's wearing a cool outfit I usually just am like neat, but if they're male there's also this darker emotion that goes, "Clothes will never fit you that way." And then I feel bad and angry.

 

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